New energy performance certificates have been given the green light by the government.
The new energy performance certificates (EPC) bring the rules for residential and commercial property in line and also offer extra information to tenants and homebuyers.
Landlords and letting agents are affected by rules about making sure a property has an energy performance certificate before marketing.
Starting from April 6, 2012, the rules say an EPC should be obtained before advertising a property to let and a letting agent must be ‘satisfied’ a survey is in the pipeline before marketing the property to rent.
The new rules give trading standards officers power to inspect a letting agent’s records to view the evidence that an EPC was ordered before marketing.
The EPC should be available within seven days and a copy of the front page should be attached to the marketing particulars - this includes those distributed by print, online and email.
A more flexible time limit of up to 28 days is offered to complex commercial surveys.
EPC lay out will also change - the new version will lose the front page graphs in favour of a clearer focus on energy costs and any measures to reduce them. The top three recommendations for energy improvements will also be listed.
These could cover installing a boiler jacket to replacing the boiler.
If a buy to let property with an old-style EPC s already with an agent for marketing before April 6, no new EPC is required.
Penalties for failing to comply with the new regulations are £200.00 for homes or 12.5% of the rateable value with a minimum £500.00 and maximum £5,000 for commercial properties.
For more information, see the
Energy Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011